Thinkers50 included Alf Rehn on their Guru Radar, a list of “the 30 management thinkers most likely to shape the future” and has been voted “Speaker of the Year”, with top marks and rave reviews at conferences around the world. He is recognised as a global thought-leader in innovation and creativity and is coming up to his 1000th keynote.
Alf is the Professor of Innovation, Design, and Management at the University of Southern Denmark, sits on numerous boards of directors, and is in addition a bestselling author and a strategic advisor for everything from hot new startups to Fortune 500-companies.
As a thought leader, he is a contrarian and provocative expert in creativity, innovation, strategy, trend spotting and taboo futures, who has challenged and delighted audiences all over the globe.
Alf speaks on several topics, including but not limited to creativity, innovation, futures thinking and leadership. His keynotes include:
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Creative Cultures – How They’re Created, and How They’re Destroyed
For a company to be successful, it needs to be able to harness creativity, innovate, and re-invent itself. The most critical aspect of this, however, is not specific “creatives”, but instead the creation of the right culture. Cultures where creativity is respected and supported, regardless from whom it comes, become better at adapting to changes in the environment, can benefit from a wider range of talents and competencies, and consistently out-innovate their competitors. In his keynote, professor Alf Rehn details what sets creative cultures apart, and how companies can manage to destroy their own creativity by looking to the wrong things.
Saving Innovation – Innovating in an Age of Bullshit and Copycats
Innovation is a core corporate competency, but has also become an annoying buzzword, talk rather than action. In his provocative keynote, professor Alf Rehn challenges our taken for granted notions of innovation, and argues that we may be in the midst of an innovation crisis – in society and in our companies. By discussing innovation fatigue, innovation stress, and why our current innovation ambition is far too modest, Alf encourages his audiences to think in new ways about innovation and what we can do to strengthen the same. Rather than just saying “innovation is important”, Alf shows how it has been lost and what we can do to save it.
Thinking Out of Bounds – The Power of Challenge, Critique, and Extreme Creativity
You, yes you, are less creative than you think. So is each and every person working with and/or for you. Even though creativity has become the thing every person and every company professes to love, real creativity is as rare as ever. In his keynote, professor Alf Rehn clarifies why creativity doesn’t come naturally to us, what is required in order for true creativity to emerge, and what can be achieved when we start to develop radical ideas. Instead of extolling cute ideas, Alf argues for extremes in thinking, why ideas should be dangerous, and why critique and difficult people are key to real creativity.
The Paradoxes of Leadership
True leaders are masters of paradox, capable of being both hard and soft, action-oriented as well as measured and thoughtful. Rather than seeing leadership as one singular thing, defined through a recipe, we need to understand the paradoxical demands put on leaders. In his keynote, professor Alf Rehn discusses how to understand leadership paradoxically, why books on leadership can hinder more than they help, and why consistency is more important than being nice. The keynote is directed both towards those wanting to improve their leadership, and those who wish to better understand their own leaders.
Taboo Futures – The Strategic Genius of Expecting the Worst
Despite its supposed avantgarde nature, much of trendspotting and futures thinking suffers from being bland and predictable. We tend to imagine futures that make sense to us, and that closely follow what we already have knowledge of. Further, we tend to prefer futures thinking in which we are still the key agent, something that can easily blind us to truly disruptive, disturbing events. In his keynote, professor Alf Rehn discusses the need to consider “taboo futures”, unthinkable events and shifts that challenge the very foundation of how we think about our business, and why these are an important strategic tool. Using hard-hitting cases, Alf highlights the need to think the unthinkable in strategy.
In addition to keynotes Alf sometimes does workshops and masterclasses on topics related to innovation, creative cultures, strategy and leadership. Contact us for more information.